Ways To Reduce Your Family Law Fees

  1. See the article Ways to Reduce Your Legal Fees
  2. Bring as much as possible of the following information to your first appointment
    • Your full name, and previous name(s) and date and place of birth.
    • Your ex-partner’s full name, and previous name(s) and date and place of birth.
    • The date and place of marriage, a copy of the marriage certificate or information about when co-habitation started.
    • Date of separation.
    • The full names and dates of birth and place of birth of all children from the relationship.
    • Names and dates of birth of any other children (step children, etc.)
    • List of significant assets owned by you or your ex-partner at the start of relationship.
    • Income of each party (copies of wage slips or tax returns).
    • Details of companies and trusts that you or your ex-partner are involved in.
    • Dates of significant events, e.g. when an inheritance or worker’s compensation payment was received.
    • A list of assets and liabilities at date of separation.
  3. Communicate with your ex-partner in a constructive matter.
    • You may be able to reach agreement on certain matters.
    • Pick your battles. Decide what is important to you (and your children) and what you can let go.
      • Arguing about trivial issues that will not matter in the long run may affect your chances of reaching the best outcome and it will increase your legal fees.
  4. Be reasonable.
    • Put your children’s needs first.
    • Do not expect to automatically have the children with you 50% of the time and get 50% of property.
    • Be open to a variety of options for settlement, your lawyer may come up with a possible solution which is better for you in the long run. What is best in the short term; may not be beneficial for you in the future.
    • Negotiation and mediation can achieve a better and cheaper outcome than going to court; and you have more control over the outcome.
  5. Avoid venting to your lawyer
    • Your lawyer is your legal advocate, not a professional counsellor.
    • It is more beneficial for you to use the services of a psychologist or therapist to assist you with the emotional aspects of your situation, and it is likely to be cheaper.
  6. Do not compare your situation to a friend’s supposed outcome.
    • Each family situation is different, and the solutions will need to suit you and your children.
    • Their circumstances are different to yours, and they may not have told you everything.

Sample List of Assets and Liabilities for Individuals

Assets Joint Yours Theirs
Description Sale value
Family home
Investment property
Superannuation 1
Superannuation 2
Vehicle 1
Vehicle 2
Vehicle 3
Bank Account 1
Bank Account 2
Bank Account 3
Special Collections
Liabilities Joint Yours Theirs
Description Owing
Mortgage on Family home
Mortgage on Investment property
Loan on Vehicle 1
Loan on Vehicle 2
Loan on Vehicle 3
Personal Loan (s)
Credit Card 1
Credit card 2
Credit card 3
Tax debts

If either of you have a business, company or a family trust; or either or you are a beneficiary of a trust, you need to provide similar information about those entities.

Author: Eleanor